Friday

Take the Stage #1: Brian Eno

Why is this called 'Take the Stage'? Because the limelight is on the artist selected. This week's artist is the heavily-influential musician, producer and composer; Brian Eno.


Eno originally was the keyboardist of Art Rock band Roxy Music, before starting a solo career as a musician and eventually producing records for the likes of U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, early demos for Television, Devo, and many more (which you can read here). He even did the music for Windows 95. Here are some of the best, most acclaimed and most pivotal releases from his long yet consistent discography.
Fripp & Eno - (No Pussyfooting) (1973)
Eno's first solo work was recorded as a collaborative attempt with Robert Fripp. This mostly 'ambient' tape music concocted with Fripp's stabbing guitars and Eno's signature electronics, was well ahead of its time and very influential in the years to come.
Brian Eno - Here Come the Warm Jets (1974)
Nothing had ever been done like Here Come the Warm Jets. Its artfully dry guitars and skewed piano chords is bitterly original and almost reaches Bowie-like oddness... just he came first. This essential record was the beginning of a huge change in rock and pop music.
Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974)
Another captivating album of obscured riffs, luscious pop melodies and piano dischords. Although on a similar page to Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain still tastes original and fresh with the perfect balance of experimental rock and pop.
Brian Eno - Another Green World (1975)
Just epic. Forget this being the best Eno album, but one of the greatest albums ever. Featuring a subtle mix of instrumental ambient music that Eno was experimenting and conjuring up with the more vocally-reinforced rock/pop that was present on previous Eno albums. A flawless, timeless album - highly recommended!
Brian Eno - Before and After Science (1977)
The music on this album gives the listener a rare two experiences; one of dystopian mechanical failure, displayed in the electronics, and an emotional experience, conveyed by the Bowie-like tortured vocals. Featuring Phil Collins, Robert Fripp and Jaki Libezeit, Before and After Science is Eno's final breath of 'rock' music, and a great record to say the least.
Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978)
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Harold Budd & Brian Eno - Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (1980)
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Brian Eno - Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks [With Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno] (1983)

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Eno's ambient series of four records and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, documents his progression and artistic growth in producing ambient music. Ambient 1, as the titles implies, is background music - its purpose is to set the scene with its beautiful electronic atmospheres. Ambient 2 features Budd's aptly-choosen piano keys, reinforces by ambience that lets your mind drift away. Apollo, a much later record, is a sprawling piece of elongated, synthesized waves, droned distorted bass and solemn sampling which, while chokingly dark and disturbing, is inspirational and timeless.

Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)
After producing some of the greatest albums ever with Talking Heads, Byrne teamed up with Eno for thir first of several future releases. And his participation in the creating of this record is not profound - polyrhythmics, funk-orientated bass, world music and many other symbolic characteristics of Remain In Light and Fear of Music are all evident. The result of combination of this and Eno's experimental electronics is My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a commendable album only capable of two of the most influential artists in existence.
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To this day, Eno continues to produce music, his most recent being another collaborative album with David Byrne that was released in 2008. When you think of everything he has done, the list is overwhelmingly large. He has left an influential footprint on music and the industry as new artists today regularly cite him as a huge inspiration. As do I.

Wednesday

Soul

Here's another genre post. Although I haven't heard much, here is some of the best soul records that I've heard.

5. Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul (1969)

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4. Al Green - Call Me (1973)
3. Curtis Mayfield - Superfly (1972)
2. Sly and the Family Stone - There's a Riot Goin' On (1969)
1. Sam Cooke - Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 (1985)
Enjoy.

VCR #1

Similar to Beck's vidoetheque feature on his blog, I'll try to regularly post videos of interest, whether a current Internet hit or something a little more obscure.



CLICK

This, recently posted on Pitchfork, is an acceptance speech of the-musician-behind-my-12th-favourite-album-of-2009, Fever Ray after being awarded best dance act. The abstract approach that she and the Knife are known for makes me anticipate their upcoming
Electro-Opera all the more.

Monday

Salvaged Gold #1

In an attempt to get this blog back up and running, I introduce what will hopefully be a regular feature on the blog, Salvaged Gold. Salvaged Gold will simply be a record that I recently picked up at a secondhand record store/charity shop that I feel may be worth listening to. Such stores are usually abundant with damaged children's records, christmas carols, classical music, 50's pop and dodgy 80s/90s flamboyant pop. Here's a recent finding that caught my eye;

Gheorghe Zamfir - The Lonely Shepherd (1980)


Grunge

I got an avid request for more blog posts. So I think I should start posting some short genre lists.
Here's five of my favourite Grunge records.

5. L7 - Bricks are Heavy (1992)

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4. Screaming Trees - Sweet Oblivion (1992)

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3. Nirvana - Bleach (1989)

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2. The Afghan Wings - Gentlemen (1993)

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1. Babes in Toyland - Fontanelle (1992)

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